Additional Information on the American Constitution Society

* At an ACS event on June 24, 2004, Al Gore likened President George W. Bush to the Roman dictator Julius Caesar and accused Republicans of monitoring the Internet with “digital Brown Shirts” prepared to ambush any journalist who dared to criticize America’s war effort in Iraq. He accused President Bush of authorizing “what plainly amounts to the torture of prisoners,” and of labeling “any law or treaty” which “attempts to constrain his treatment of prisoners in time of war” as “a violation of the Constitution.” Gore further accused the President of asserting “that he has the inherent power … to launch an invasion of any nation on Earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States.” And he said that Bush had declared himself “no longer subject to the rule of law so long as he is acting in his role as Commander in Chief.”

* ACS’s “Religion Clauses” Issue Group, which is now defunct, was designed to “provid[e] a forum for discussion about the meaning and interpretation of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, and also [to] investigat[e] broader questions regarding religion in America — including the appropriate relationship between church and state in contemporary society.”

* ACS’s “International Law and the Constitution” Issue Group, which is now defunct, disparaged American law as antiquated and inequitable, and called on judges to make American jurisprudence subservient to United Nations treaties and European Court of Human Rights decisions. Co-chairing this group were Jamil Dakwar, a former Human Rights Watch staffer and a director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program; Catherine Powell, a board member of Human Rights Watch; and Cindy Soohoo, director of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Domestic Legal Program.

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